I am a big fan of a really good sauce, red sauce for pasta, gravy for potatoes, buerre blanc and many others. They are a simple addition to a meal that can make it all the better, but not everyone knows how to make or master these simple little devils. To me there is nothing worse than a bad red sauce or any sauce for that matter. So hopefully with this post and my advice you to can be on your way to sauce mastery.
Now, for the all important question at least for people like my lovely co-blogger, can you make it vegan? Well yes you can and I will explain as we go along the substitutions you can make to do so.
Let’s start with the red sauce:
a red sauce is one of the most simple and most versatile sauces. To me the best part of a red sauce is how quickly you can make one and have it taste so amazing. Since I usually just make it for one night, even though red sauce freezes quite well, you don’t need a lot of ingredients.
3-4 big leaves of Basil, cut up
3 garlic gloves, chopped
1 smallish onion, I keep them in rings so that people like Jenni who don’t like onions can easily remove them and give them to me the onion lover.
1 16 oz can of Tomato Sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
1 8oz can of diced tomatoes
red pepper flakes.
combine all the ingredients into a pot and let it simmer. The longer you let the sauce simmer the more it will absorb the flavors.
On to the gravy:
I like to think that one of my specialities is gravy, and I get deeply agitated and angry by really shitty jarred gravy. Now with Thanksgiving quickly approaching I’ll tell you guys about the gravy I made last year. The way that I am going to explain this isn’t going to be vegan at all but I’ll explain at the end a vegan version.
When you get a turkey it usually has the gizzard and stuff in a bag inside that you can use for cooking with so my mother and I took those and kept them bundled together and placed them in a pot of chicken broth along with rosemary, thyme, onions, salt and pepper. It stayed simmering on the stove for the 8ish hours we cooked the turkey so that it fully absorbed the flavors.
To make a gravy you first need to make a rue, which is essentially flour and a type of fat (usually butter, and for you vegans out there vegan butter will do.) So, first melt the butter and add a little bit of flour at a time, so that it thickens but not so much that it is nasty and floury. Slowly add the broth that has been simmering to this mixture little by little so that it thickens if it isn’t thickening add a little bit more flour be careful not to add too much or it will taste absolutely horrible. A whisk really helps with breaking up the flour and thickening the sauce. You’ll be able to tell when it is nice and thick, and feel free to taste it during the cooking process. It was amazing last year.
For the Vegans out there you can make a gravy that is just as good with vegetable stock, a rue and some adobo seasoning.
I’ll have to explain the buerre blanc another day through an actual recipe because I fear this post of far too long and no one will read it if I keep going.
Happy saucing 😀